Oregon Ducks Volleyball Opens Conference Play At Oregon State and Arizona

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The Oregon Women’s Volleyball team has had several weeks off entering Pac-12 play after starting the season with what seemed like a never ending road trip. Oregon won their first five matches on the East Coast to begin the 2015 season including the season opening Temple Invitational beating the home team, Temple, along with St Joseph’s and Navy. Oregon also faced some top ten talent in Florida and Nebraska, but did not fare so well early in the season. They lost in straight sets to the Gators, but led two sets to none against the Cornhuskers. Oregon could not stop the Nebraska comeback and lost three sets to two. The Ducks also fell to Texas before finishing the road trip with a win over Texas San Antonio.

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Overall entering Pac-12 play the Oregon Ducks are 6-3 and will face Oregon State and Arizona this week. The Ducks enter the Conference season ranked eighteenth. Arizona is 10-2 on the year so far and comes in ranked fourteenth. The Beavers begin the Conference slate on the other end of the spectrum losing five matches to ranked opponents. OSU is 2-8 entering Pac-12 play. Oregon State is up first for the Ducks.

The Beavers enter the match with the Ducks on a four game losing streak and are led by last season’s Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Mary-Kate Marshall who leads the team with 3.77 kills per set. Oregon State has the experience to compete this season thanks to the fact that the majority of last year’s team is returning, accounting for over fifty percent of the team’s kills. Following the game with the Beavers, the Oregon Ducks travel to Arizona.

To begin the season the Wildcats will visit seventh ranked Arizona State before returning home to take on Oregon. Arizona is impressing early in the season. After beginning 8-0 for the first time ever, they have just two losses to top fifteen teams. Some new names are impressing for the Wildcats. In their first season with the team, transfer Nikki Attea is posting 2.74 kills per set to go along with 134 points, good enough for second on the team according to ArizonaWildcats.com. The Ducks have won six of the last eight meetings between the schools.

For the Oregon Ducks, Freshman Lindsey Vander-Weide is leading coming up big early in the season helping keep Oregon in the top twenty five following losses against the Cornhuskers and Gators. She was named Pac-12 Player of the Week(September 7th) for averaging 3.17 kills and sporting a .292 hitting average against two of the top schools in the country. Senior Martenne Bettendorf is off to a great start with 3.81 kills per set and hitting at .297 according to GoDucks.com

The Oregon Ducks open with Oregon State on Thursday night at 7pm Pacific time on Pac-12 Networks. The Top Twenty showdown with Arizona is set for Sunday at 2pm Pacific Time on ESPNU. Oregon will have their long awaited home opener at Matthew Knight Arena next weekend hosting Colorado and Utah. The Buffs match is set for Friday at 8pm on Pac-12 Networks.

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